There are symptoms of anxiety that you probably don’t know about but need to be made aware of. We are all personally responsible for taking better care of our physical and mental health and that includes recognising and responding to signs of mental health issues such as anxiety. The problem is that a lot of these symptoms, originating in the Autonomic Nervous System, are ignored or not associated with mental health issues. Here are five symptoms of anxiety that you probably don’t know about.
If you’re having trouble concentrating, focusing on things or having coherent thoughts, even if you’re getting good sleep, it can be frustrating but is a sign of anxiety! People who have anxiety are often suffering because their brains are preoccupied with past events or anticipating the future which makes it difficult to concentrate on being present in the moment.
Worry might seem like a mental activity, but it has a physical impact and often effects how you are holding yourself. Subconsciously holding yourself in a protective position can cause muscle tension and stiffness or muscle pain. It can even take hours for them to relax after an anxious moment!
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”
– Dan Millman
Similar to tense muscles, when your mind cannot find peace, it can manifest into physical restlessness. If you find yourself constantly moving, bouncing your legs, biting your nails or pacing rooms, you’re experiencing restlessness.
The fight-or-flight response associated with anxiety can wreak havoc on your digestive system in a number of ways. If you experience out of the blue nausea, excessive gas or diarrhoea around things you’re nervous about such as interviews or meeting new people, it’s a sign that you are experiencing anxiety. Your body tries to shut down the digestive system to prioritise other areas of your body which triggers the problems.
Cold Hands and Feet
Having cold hands or cold feet is often immediately associated with poor circulation but have you ever wondered why that is? When our bodies are anxious, and the fight-or-flight response kicks in, our body directs blood to our vital organs as protection, and away from our hands and feet, which is why we feel cold.
Learning to better identify when our bodies and autonomic nervous systems are off can help us find and maintain better mental health.
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